Continuatio Sermonis in Monte
The Sermon on the Mount Cont.
6:1 Attendite ne iustitiam vestram faciatis coram hominibus, ut videamini ab eis; alioquin mercedem non habebitis apud Patrem vestrum qui in caelis est. [n. 559]
6:1 Take heed that you do not your justice before men in order to be seen by them: otherwise you will not have a reward from your Father who is in heaven. [n. 559]
6:2 Cum ergo facis eleemosynam, noli tuba canere ante te, sicut hypocritae faciunt in synagogis et in vicis, ut honorificentur ab hominibus. Amen dico vobis, receperunt mercedem suam. [n. 562]
6:2 Therefore when you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be honored by men. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. [n. 562]
6:3 Te autem faciente eleemosynam, nesciat sinistra tua quid faciat dextera tua, [n. 565]
6:3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand does. [n. 565]
6:4 ut sit eleemosyna tua in abscondito; et Pater tuus, qui videt in abscondito, reddet tibi. [n. 567]
6:4 That your alms may be in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you. [n. 567]
559. Attendite ne iustitiam. Supra Dominus adimplevit legem quantum ad praecepta; nunc incipit adimplere quantum ad promissa. In veteri enim lege promittebantur temporalia, sicut dicit Augustinus, quae erant maxima duo desiderabilia, scilicet gloria mundana et affluentia divitiarum, Deut. XXVIII, 1: si audieris vocem Domini etc. Dominus autem docet in hoc capitulo non facere iustitiae opera propter temporalia neque propter gloriam mundi neque propter affluentiam divitiarum.
559. Take heed that you do not your justice. Above the Lord gave the fulfillment of the law as to the precepts; now he begins to give the fulfillment as to the promises. In the old law temporal things were promised, as Augustine says, which were the two most desirable things, namely, worldly glory and abundance of riches: if you hear the voice of the Lord (Deut 28:1). But the Lord teaches in this chapter not to do works of justice for the sake of temporal goods nor for worldly glory nor for an abundance of wealth.
Dividitur autem hoc capitulum in partes duas. In prima parte docet non esse facienda opera iustitiae propter gloriam mundi; secundo non esse facienda propter divitias, ibi nolite thesaurizare.
However, this chapter is divided into two parts. In the first part he teaches that works of justice are not to be done for the sake of earthly glory; second, they are not to be done for riches, at do not lay up for yourselves treasures (Matt 6:19).
Circa primum duo facit:
Concerning the first he does two things:
primo ponit doctrinam in generali;
first, he sets down the teaching in general;
secundo exsequitur per partes, ibi cum ergo facis.
second, he follows it through its parts, at therefore when you give alms.
Circa primum duo facit:
Concerning the first he does two things:
primo ponit documentum;
first, he sets down the instruction;
secundo documenti rationem assignat, ibi alioquin.
second, he assigns the reason for the teaching, at otherwise.
560. Dicit ergo attendite. Signater dicit attendite, propter tres rationes. Primo quia ibi est opus attentione ubi aliquid occulte subintelligitur: ita est de appetitu humanae laudis. Unde Chrysostomus: occulte intrat et omnia quae intus sunt insensibiliter auffert, Ps. a sagitta volante. Secundo opus est attentione contra ea quibus difficile resistitur. Augustinus in Sententiis prosperis: quas vires ad nocendum habeat humanae gloriae cupido, non facile noverunt nisi illi qui eis bellum indixerint, quia etsi facile non quaeritur cum negatur difficile tamen quaeritur relinquitur cum offertur, Io. XII, 39: propterea credere non poterant. Tertio quia quam opera sunt maiora tam minus potest homo praecavere. Chrysostumus: omne malum vexat filios diaboli haec autem filios Dei, Zach. III, 1: sathan sedebat a dextris, idest diabolus insidians bonis operibus.
560. Therefore he says take heed. He says take heed significantly, for three reasons. First is that attention is important where something hidden might slip in: so it is with the appetite for human praise. Hence Chrysostom says: it sneaks in and carries off unnoticed everything that is inside; or from the arrow that flies by day (Ps 91:6). Second, attention is important against those things that are hard to resist. Augustine says in The Sentences: they do not easily know what powers for harm the desire for human glory may have, except those who have declared war on them, for even if it is easily not sought when it is denied, still it is sought; when it is relinquished nevertheless it is sought; when it is abandoned, then it is bestowed. And, therefore they could not believe (John 12:39). Third, because the greater the works, the less man can guard against it. Chrysostom: this desire troubles not only the sons of the devil, but also the sons of God; and, Satan stood on his right hand to be his adversary (Zech 3:1), i.e the devil entrapping men through good works.
Et non dixit attendite nisi postquam removit iram animi et concupiscentiam et odium. Animus enim subiectus passionibus non potest attendere quid in corde geratur, Prov. IV, 23,25: omni custodia serva, et post, oculi videant recta.
And he did not say take heed until after he had taken away anger of soul and covetousness and hatred. For the soul subject to passions cannot pay attention to what is borne in the heart: with all care keep your heart (Prov 4:23), and after let your eyes look straight ahead (Prov 4:25).
Ne iustitiam, idest opus iustitiae. Iustitia quandoque sonat in vitium quando scilicet praesumitur ex propriis viribus, Ro. X, 3: ignorantes Dei iustitiam etc; aliquando sonat in virtutem, sicut hic ne iustitiam, quae scilicet a vobis exigitur: dixerat enim Dominus nisi abundaverit etc. Et determinat quomodo poterat observari. Et si totum referritur ad laudem hominum non valeret, et ideo necessaria est recta intentio. Et hoc est: ne iustitiam etc.
That you do not do your justice, i.e., works of justice. Justice sometimes represents a vice, namely, when it is presumed upon one’s own powers: they, not knowing the justice of God (Rom 10:3). Sometimes it represents a virtue, as here, that you do not your justice, namely those things that are required of you: for the Lord had said, unless your justice abound (Matt 5:20). And he determines how it could be observed. And if it were altogether for the sake of men’s praise, it would not have any worth, and thus a right intention is necessary. And this is that you do not your justice.
561. Sed quaerit Chrysostomus: quid si traham pauperem in partem? Dicendum quod si gloriam habeat in corde et ad gloriam habeat intentionem non valet. Et ideo Gregorius dicit ita opus fiat in publico ut intentio maneat in occulto. Et hoc est ut videamini.
561. But Chrysostom asks: what if I drew a poor man aside? It should be said that if he has glory in his heart and has the intention of glory, it would not have any worth. And thus Gregory says let the work in public be done so that the intention remains hidden. And this is in order to be seen.
Sed numquid semper quaerimus gloriam quando volumus videri ab hominibus? Augustinus dicit quod dupliciter aliquid quaeritur: uno modo ut finis ultimus, alio ut necessarium ad finem. Illud autem proprie quaerimus quod volumus ut finem ultimum, aliud autem non proprie quaerimus quod volumus ut necessarium ad finem: sicut aliquis quaerit navem ut vadat in patriam, hic non proprie quaerit navem, sed patriam. Unde si ergo vis videri ab hominibus ut des eis exemplum et propter gloriam Dei, non prohiberis, quia supra dixit sic luceat lux vestra etc. Prohibetur autem ne intentio feratur sicut in principalem finem. Et hoc est: ut videamini ab eis, tantum, scilicet sic etiam placere hominibus aliquando vituperatur, Gal. I, 10: si adhuc hominibus placerem; aliquando laudatur, I Cor. X, 33.
But do we always seek glory when we wish to be seen by men? Augustine says that something can be sought in two ways: in one way as an ultimate end, in another way as something necessary to the end. But we seek something properly which we want as our ultimate end. But what we do not seek properly is what we want as necessary to the end: as someone who seeks a ship so that he may go to his country does not properly seek the ship but the country. Hence if therefore you wish to be seen by men so that you give them an example, and for the glory of God, you are not prohibited, for above he says, so let your light shine before men (Matt 5:16). But it is prohibited for your intention to be ordered to it as the principal end. And this is: in order to be seen by them, only, that is. In this way also pleasing men is sometimes reproached: if I yet pleased men, I would not be the servant of Christ (Gal 1:10); sometimes it is praised: as I also in all things please all men (1 Cor 10:33).
562. Consequenter assignat rationem sui documenti. Unde alioquin mercedem. Nullus meretur aliquid apud aliquem cui nihil dat. Unde qui facit aliquid propter homines et non propter Deum dicitur nihil dare. Chrysostomus quae sapientia eleemosynam dare et mercedem Dei perdere? De hac mercede loquitur de qua Gen. XV, 1: ego Dominus, merces, et supra merces vestra copiosa est etc.
562. Next, he assigns the reason for his instruction. Hence otherwise you will have no reward. No one merits anything from someone to whom he gives nothing. Hence whoever does something for the sake of men and not for God’s sake is said to give nothing. Chrysostom says: what wisdom is it to give alms and lose God’s reward? He speaks of this reward: I, the Lord am . . . your reward (Gen 15:1), and above, for your reward is very great (Matt 5:12).
Consequenter exequitur per partes cum dicit cum ergo facis. Et hoc quantum ad eleemosynam, orationem et ieiunium. Secundum, ibi cum oratis; Tertium, cum ieiunatis. Et ponit ista tria quia, secundum Chrysostomum, Dominus voluit instruere contra illa quibus fuit temptatus, scilicet de gula, de avaritia et de inani gloria, sicut patet supra IV; et est contra gulam ieiunium, contra avaritiam eleemosyna, contra inanem gloriam oratio: nihil enim eam vincere potest cum etiam de bonis operibus amplietur.
Next, he goes through the parts when he says therefore when you give alms. And this refers to almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. The second is at and when you pray (Matt 6:5); the third, at when you fast (Matt 6:16). And he mentions these three things because, according to Chrysostom, the Lord wanted to instruct against those things by which he had been tempted, namely, gluttony, greed, and vainglory, as is clear above; and fasting is against gluttony, almsgiving is against greed, and prayer is against vainglory: for nothing can conquer it since it is even intensified by good works.
563. Considerantum quod ista tria sunt partes iustitiae dupliciter. Satisfactoriae enim iustitiae est ut qui peccat satisfaciat. Peccatum autem est triplex: vel contra Deum, vel contra seipsum, vel contra proximum. Contra Deum peccatur per superbiam; et huic opponitur humilitas orationis, Eccli. XXXV, 21: oratio humiliantis se. Contra proximum per avaritiam, et ideo satisfacit per eleemosynam. Contra se per carnis concupiscentiam, et ideo satisfacit per ieiunium. Ieronymus. Oratione sanantur pestes cunctae mentis, ieiunio pestis corporis. Item ista tria sunt partes iustitiae quae est religionis proprius actus: religiosi enim debent offerre sacrificium Deo. Est autem triplex bonum exterius, scilicet res; interius: corpus et anima. Per eleemosynam ergo offerunt exteriora bona, Hebr. ult. beneficientiae et communionis; per ieiunium corpora propria, Ro. XII, 1: exhibeatis corpora vestra hostiam; per orationem animam: est enim oratio ascensus mentis in Deum, Ps. dirigatur oratio mea.
563. It should be considered that these three things are parts of justice in two ways. For it is of satisfactory justice that someone who sins makes satisfaction. But sin is threefold: either against God, against oneself, or against one’s neighbor. Against God one sins by pride: and to this is opposed the humility of prayer: the prayer of him humbling himself (Sir 35:21). We sin against our neighbor by greed, and this is satisfied for by almsgiving. We sin against ourselves by the concupiscence of the flesh, and this is satisfied for by fasting. Jerome says: by prayer the pestilences of the mind are healed, by fasting the pestilence of the body. Likewise these three are parts of justice which is the most proper act of religion: for it belongs to religion to offer sacrifice to God. But there are three kinds of goods, namely the external good of belongings, and the interior ones of body and soul. Thus by almsgiving they offer external goods: do not neglect to do good and to share what you have (Heb 13:16). By fasting they offer their own body: present your bodies as a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1). And by prayer, their souls: for prayer is the raising of the mind to God: let my prayer be directed (Ps 141:2).
Circa eleemosynam ergo, quae prima est, duo facit: primo excludit modum indebitum, secundo ponit debitum, ibi te autem. Circa primum excludit modum indebitum; secundo assignat rationem, ibi amen dico. Modum indebitum excludit ex tribus: ex signo, loco et fine.
Concerning almsgiving, which is first, he does two things: first he excludes the improper mode, second, he sets down the due mode, at but when you give alms. Concerning the first he excludes the improper mode; second, he assigns the reason, at amen I say to you. He excludes the improper mode by three things: sign, place, and end.
564. Quantum ad primum dicit cum ergo facis, continuatio attendite ne iustitiam etc. Unde cum eleemosyna sit pars iustitiae, cum facis eleemosynam noli etc. Consuetudo erat apud Iudaeos quod quando faciebant publicas eleemosynas clangebant tubis ad hoc quod pauperes congregarentur. Istud ergo quod ex quadam necessitate inductum fuit malitia hominum pervertit ad gloriam inanem; et ideo Dominus prohibet. Et secundum Chrysostomum idem est quasi tuba clangens quando de quocumque bono appetis apparere etiam si in occulto fiat, Is. XL, 9: exalta in fortitudine vocem.
564. As to the first, he says therefore when you give alms, necessarily take heed that you do not your justice. Hence since alms are a part of justice, therefore when you give alms, do not. The custom among the Jews was to sound a trumpet when they gave public alms so that the poor would gather around. Thus something that had arisen from a certain necessity was perverted into vainglory by the malice of men. And according to Chrysostom it is the same as sounding a trumpet when you desire to be noticed for a good deed, even if it is done in secret: lift up your voice with strength (Isa 40:9).
Sicut hypocritae. Hic primo ponitur de hypocritis. Unde videndum quid est. Hoc nomen ‘hypocrita’ proprie derivatum est et productum a repraesentatione quae fiebat in ludis theatralibus, ubi inducebant homines habentes facies lamatas ad repraesentandum homines quibus gesta repraesentabant. Unde dicebatur hypocrita ab ‘hypo’, quod est ‘sub’, et ‘crisyo’, quod est ‘indicium’: alius enim erat et alius videbatur. Et talis est hypocrita qui exterius habet speciem sanctitatis et interius non implet quae ostendit. Gregorius dicit quod non si aliquando cadit propter infirmitatem: illi enim proprie sunt hypocritae qui tantum ut videantur speciem sanctitatis habent.
As the hypocrites. This is the first thing said about hypocrites. Hence we should see what a hypocrite is. This word ‘hypocrite’ is properly derived and produced from a representation which was done in theatrical plays, where they brought in men having masked faces to represent men whose gestures they imitated. Hence hypocrite was said from ‘hypo’, which is ‘under’, and ‘crisyo’, which is ‘sign’: for in place of someone, another person was seen. And that is what a hypocrite is, someone who has the appearance of sanctity outwardly and inwardly does not fulfill what he shows. Gregory says that it is not someone who falls through weakness, for those are properly hypocrites who seem to have the appearance of sanctity only so that they may be seen.
Consequenter excludit quantum ad locum. Et hoc etiam reprehenditur si simulatoriae fiat, non autem si propter exemplum.
Next, he excludes the improper mode as to place. And this also is reproached if it is done by pretense, but not if for the sake of example.
565. In synagogis, sicut modo in ecclesia; et in vicis, sicut in loco publico, ut videantur. Et hoc est quod supra dixit coram hominibus; ut honorificentur etc. Io. V, 44: quomodo potestis etc.
565. In the synagogues, just as in the Church of today; and in the streets, as in a public place, so that they may be seen. And this is what he said above, before men; that they may be honored: how can you believe? (John 5:44).
Consequenter assignat rationem amen dico: receperunt mercedem. Illud est enim merces uniuscuiusque propter quid operatur, Matth. XX, 13: nonne ex denario convenistis etc.
Then he assigns the reason, at amen I say to you: they have received their reward. For this is the reward of each person according to his works: did you not agree with me for a denarius? (Matt 20:13).
Consequenter assignat modum debitum et convenientem; et postea assignat rationem, ibi ut sit eleemosyna. Dicit ergo te autem faciente. Istud multipliciter exponitur. Chrysostomus enim dicit quod in libro Canonum apostolorum sic exponitur quod per sinistram intelligitur populus infidelis, per dexteram fidelis. Unde vult quod nihil fiat coram infidelibus.
Next, he assigns the due and fitting mode of giving alms; and afterward he assigns the reason at that your alms may be. Therefore he says but when you give alms. This has many explanations. For Chrysostom says that in the book of the Canons of the Apostles, it is explained that by the left hand is understood an unbelieving nation, and by the right a believing one. Hence he wishes that nothing be done in front of unbelievers.
566. Contra hoc Augustinus: quia cum facit eleemosynam propter gloriam, et tunc etiam neque a fidelibus debet videri; vel propter utilitatem, et tunc debet fieri coram infidelibus: hoc proprie utilis est ut videntes etc.
566. Against this Augustine says: for someone gives alms either for the sake of glory, and then it should not be seen even by believers; or else for the sake of benefit, and then it should expressly be done before unbelievers: that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father (Matt 5:16).
Alii autem exponunt quod per sinistram intelligit uxorem quae solet impedire aliquando virum ab operibus misericordiae; unde vult quod etiam uxor nesciat. Et similiter intelligendum de quocumque alio. Et similiter obicit contra hoc Augustinus quia hoc praeceptum datur etiam: nullus ergo deberet dicere: nesciat dextera tua etc.
But others explain that by the left hand is understood a wife who tends to hinder a man from works of mercy; hence he means that even the wife should not know. And the same thing should be understood of anyone else. And Augustine objects similarly against this for this precept is also given to women: therefore no one should say: do not let your right hand know.
567. Unde Augustinus aliter exponit et etiam Chrysostomus, et quasi in idem reducitur. Dicunt quod in Scriptura per sinistram intelliguntur temporalia bona, per dexteram spiritualia, Prov. III, 16: in dextera illius longitudo etc. Unde voluit Dominus quod non fieret per gloriam terrenam. Vel aliter et quasi in idem redit: per dexteram aliquando intelliguntur opera virtutis, per sinistram peccata; quasi quando fit opus virtutis non fiat cum aliquo peccato. Chrysostomus tamen ponit litteralem, et dicit quod Dominus loquitur per excessum, sicut si aliquis dicat: si posset fieri nollet quod hoc sciret pes meus.
567. Hence Augustine explains it another way, as well as Chrysostom, and it can be reduced to practically the same. They say that in Scripture temporal goods are meant by the left, and spiritual ones by the right: length of days is in her right hand (Prov 3:16). Hence the Lord meant that it should not be done for earthly glory. Or another way and it also amounts to the same: by the right hand is sometimes understood the works of virtue, by the left hand, sins; so that when a work of virtue is done, it should not be done with any sin. Nevertheless, Chrysostom gives a literal reading and says that the Lord speaks by exaggeration, as if someone were to say, ‘if it were possible, he would wish that my foot not know this.’
Ponitur ratio: ut sit eleemosyna in abscondito, et in conscientia tua quae occulta est, I Cor. III: quae sunt hominis nemo, et iterum II Cor. I, 12: gloria vestra haec est testimonium: sic enim accipitur illud Ro. II, 28: non enim qui in manifesto Iudaeus etc.
He gives the reason: that your alms may be in secret, and in your conscience which is hidden: the things . . . no man knows (1 Cor 2:11) and again, for our glory is this: the testimony of our conscience (2 Cor 1:12): for in this way is taken what is written: for it is not that he is a Jew who is so outwardly (Rom 2:28).
Et Pater tuus reddet tibi, Hebr. IV, 13: omnia nuda et aperta etc. Ier. pravum est cor hominis. Augustinus dicit quod in quibusdam exemplaribus invenitur reddet tibi palam, quia sicut diabolus conatur aperire et publicare quae in conscientia sunt ut scandalum faciat, ita Deus ad maiorem utilitatem et etiam ad exemplum malorum adducet bona. Unde etiam sancti multi non potuerunt latere, Ps. adducet quasi lumen iustitiam, quam scilicet in occulto tenebas. Hoc tamen non videtur esse de textu.
Your Father . . . will repay you: all things are naked and open to his eyes (Heb 4:13); the heart is perverse above all measure (Jer 17:9). Augustine says that in certain exemplars is found ‘he will repay you publicly,’ for just as the devil tries to open and make public the things that are in the conscience so that he can give scandal, so God for greater benefit and also for the example of evildoers brings forth good things. Hence even many saints could not remain hidden: he will bring forth your justice as the light (Ps 37:6), namely, what you were holding in secret. However, this does not seem to be in the text.